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steel case ammo in AR

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by chuwee81, Nov 4, 2009.

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  1. chuwee81

    chuwee81 Member

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    So, what was the argument against it again? I've read that steel won't be as accurate due to the metal not creating a good seal like brass. But i'm sure there's a lot of ARs that are just shooters, not solely for precision.

    One more thing i've read is also the steel hold itself tight in the chamber and can wear out extractor faster?

    What about zinc plated steel case and/ or brass plated steel case?

    Thanks
     
  2. possum

    possum Member

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    in my experience you can run a magazine here, and there through it no issue, but if you start doing any heavy shooting/ training ie a course enviornment you are gonna start having problems. the most common that i had in my ar and the the ar's that i have seen in courses/ on the range. is failures to extract, it seems that the steel case expands in the chamber, and the extractor dosen't have enough force to bring it out.
     
  3. highorder

    highorder Member

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    Steel cases are hard on extractors. Zinc plated steel corrodes very easily (in my experience.)

    I don't expect sub-moa accuracy from my AR with Silver/Brow Bear ammo.
     
  4. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    MY take on this THEORETICAL issue

    extractors are cheap
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=838573

    ammo is not


    Thank god for steel cased fodder. If I had to buy $10+ a box domestic ammo or handload all my AR15 fodder I simply wouldn't bother owning one
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Not true.
    If the case didn't get a good seal, the rifle would blow up.

    Steel expands just fine, but doesn't contract like brass after the pressure drops off.

    That in turn, makes it harder to extract.

    The Russians got around it with the more tapered case designs they use.

    The .223 has a much straighter case design then the 7.62x39, and is harder to extract.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  6. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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    Sometimes, you can just TELL when the answer comes from someone who knows what the heck he is talking about.

    Its like a breath of fresh air :)
     
  7. chuwee81

    chuwee81 Member

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    glad i ask the question. Thanks guys.

    EDIT: one more thing just came to mind:
    So the main issue is the extractor that can be replaced pretty cheap. But will it (steel case ammo) also be hard on the bolt face and/ or bolt assembly, or the chamber?
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, not really.
    The steel they use in cases is a much softer grade of steel then the bolt & barrel are made from.

    The main issue is keeping the chamber clean.
    The old Russian ammo used a greenish lacquer coating to prevent rusting cases.
    The new stuff is coated with a polymer film.

    Either are prone to burning off and fouling the chamber, although the new polymer stuff is reported to be less likely to cause problems.

    As for damaged extractors and them being cheap?
    It depends on what you consider cheap.
    Is a broken extractor serious & costly when shooting beer cans?
    No, of course not.

    But if you go home and hear a bump in the night and grab the AR with an extractor you didn't know was about to break from steel case abuse, it could be very costly.

    rc
     
  9. chuwee81

    chuwee81 Member

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    ahh, i gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  10. matai

    matai Member

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    I've put over 1000rds of wolf and brown bear through my AR and haven't had any failures. If I'll need a $13 extractor after awhile, no big deal to me.
     
  11. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Member

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    ive heard of the mentioned problems with it.....1st hand experience it has worked fine for me in both ARs that I have owned.....
     
  12. rich636

    rich636 Member

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    I've only used steel in my low budget AR and it's fine so far. From everything I had read about using Wolf I would've thought the case would tear in half, the extractor would break, etc. It's just not happening. I like the steel because it's cheap and I don't have to chase the cases.
     
  13. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    I love these myths that keep on mything. .

    RCModel hit the steel differences question.

    The "wears out extractors" myth got started when some fly-by-night AR15 vendor bought some cheap-o extractors from China (or somewhere worse). These extractors didn't get heat-treated and would have failed with any ammo.

    Unfortunately, it was the penny-pinching steel case ammo shooters that complained the most about it (probably because they were too cheap to buy brass cased ammo [ and yes folks, this is back when brass cased ammo was relatively cheap, and the only reason to buy steel cased ammo for your AR15 was 'cuz you wuz a tightwad ]) and so the myth got stuck with us.

    You'll have 0 issues with a quality extractor and steel cased ammo.
     
  14. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    I shoot Silver Bear. It is good ammo. I have noticed a little more fouling from it, but not too bad. As long as your gun likes the particular ammo, I wouldn't have any problem shooting it. Just run some patches and CLP through it a little more often.
     
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